I stepped out for an early morning run on May 12, 2014 around 6:45 a.m. I had just begun training for my first race, and it was a crisp beautiful morning. Half a block from my front door, on a quiet residential street, I was struck by a driver who sped over a speed bump. I don’t remember anything that came next. A witness reported that upon impact, I flew onto the top of the vehicle, rolled down the windshield, across the hood of the car, and was thrown onto the street. After hitting me the female driver put the car in reverse, and fled the scene. I was left lying on the street, unconscious and bleeding.
I was lucky. My injuries included a severe concussion, scalp hematomas, shattered bones across my face, deviated septum, separated AC joint in my left shoulder, fractured left knee, torn meniscus, torn ACL, PCL and FCL in my right knee, broken and separated tailbone, and torn ATFL in my right ankle. But, I was alive. I was lucky.
Following the crash, ten orthopedic surgeons told me my knee was inoperable. I underwent two massive surgeries, was out of work for 13 weeks, and spent two and a half years in physical therapy learning how to walk, and even run again. I was lucky.
The driver that hit me was never found, the license plate called in to 911 was a fake plate. Traffic camera footage from near the crash was deleted before the MPD officer assigned to the case returned from vacation. Under DC law at the time, this life changing crash was codified as a “collision and departure” only subject to a $500 fine as a minor misdemeanor. Had I been hit several miles away in Virginia, the same crash would have been a felony.
A crash like this leaves behind much more than just physical scars.
I wish that I had the support of a group like DC Families for Safe Streets during my recovery. A crash like this leaves behind much more than just physical scars. The loneliness of recovery is daunting, and today, I am lucky to be part of a group whose mission is to advocate for change, and support victims through their experiences.